Sibal unveils bill to provide free education for kids up to 14 years

The UPA government has unveiled a plan for reforming the Indian education sector, which includes provision of free and compulsory education and eliminating the 'trauma' and anxiety of class X board examinations.

Union minister for human resources Kapil Sibal said all steps should be taken to enact the `Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill' that aims at making education a fundamental right of every child in the age group of six to 14 years.

He also wanted the bill to be passed in the current session to enable every child to get the statutory right to education.

He said the focus of the bill is to foster, "expansion, inclusion and excellence", which in simple terms amounted to access, equity and quality in education.

Addressing a press conference, Sibal said the government would abolish the class X board examination to lessen the examination trauma that young students are subjected to while appearing for the examination. He citing the growing instances of students committing suicide due to exam stress and pressures he called for changes to the system to detraumatise the students.

He said that the greatest challenge the country faced at present was providing quality education to the young. He added that the government would introduce a single board examination with consensus to enable children sit for one examination and decide which school or university they wanted to attend.